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Financial health check for businesses

'Finlease principal, Mark O’Donoghue.'    MIAA    Click Here to view large photo
With the global credit crunch potentially creating headaches for some small to medium businesses, it’s a good time to look at your business loans and the opportunities that exist to save money.

With interest rates falling, it could be well worth evaluating your current loan situation and taking a financial health check. And just like going for a regular health check with your GP, it can identify any health issues that need remedies.

So for effective relief, it may be well worthwhile engaging the assistance of a specialist finance broker who is focussed on the needs of small to medium businesses. Just like your GP, specialised finance broking businesses makes house calls, so you don’t even need to leave your workplace or office.

A skilled broker can take a good look at your current loan commitments and analyse issues such as available cashflow to make sure you’re fit enough to face the future. Then if you need a transfusion of funds, brokers can advise on loan alternatives that can save you money.

A well established , reputable broker should have their finger on the pulse of prevailing lending conditions and able to access financial solutions from over broad range of lenders. So a good finance broker should be able to spread your loans and avoid ‘financial constipation’ with any one lender.

They should also act as your advocates in representing your case to these financiers. They should offer the service where they source the funds you need, then it’s up to you whether you choose to go ahead or not, there should be no charge or obligation either way.

Principal of Finlease Mark O’Donoghue said that one of the most common challenges facing small to medium businesses right now was being too time poor to ‘shop around’ for the optimum finance arrangements. He commented that just like sourcing the supply of raw material, money should be obtained at the right price, of the right quality and for funds to be as accessible as possible.

“Credit is becoming harder to come by, so the services of a skilled finance broker that has a solid track record with the financial institutions is imperative,” advises Mark O’Donoghue.

“You need to ensure you’ve got the right loan structures in place, not only regarding rates, but also regarding loan terms, flexibility, special conditions and the securities that you have to provide.”

It also pays not to have all your loans with the one lender. Your financial health check can analyse any situations that can stunt business growth. By utilising a range of financiers, a capable broker should provide you with a series of good relationships rather than ‘one bad marriage.’

Naturally good relationships are those that last the distance. A good broking firm should have robust, long lasting relationships with their clients has arranging the finance for everything including their machinery, property, motor cars and more specialised finance tools.

For many of these long term relationships, the broker is essentially operating as the client’s private bank, with the added benefit that the account manager won’t change every 2 years and without one institution holding all of the cards.

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by Harbourside Media


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4:40 AM Mon 10 Nov 2008 GMT

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